The Paris Board of Public Utilities is now officially the Paris Utility Authority.

The Paris Commission voted unanimously during a meeting Thursday afternoon at Paris city hall to approve a resolution forming the PUA.

Terry Wimberley, who has been the BPU general manager and will now head up the PUA, was present at the meeting.

The action basically makes Paris and Henry County’s biggest utility provider an independent entity. Up until now, the BPU operated under the auspices of the City of Paris.

The city’s action Thursday approved the certificate of incorporation for the PUA. A document known as an Assignment and Assumption Agreement is also part of the process.

The certificate of incorporation will be filed with the state Friday morning, and the new PUA board has a meeting planned for 2:30 p.m. Monday via Zoom.

The PUA won’t have any taxing authority, but its board will now be able to set their own water and sewer rates without requiring city approval.

“They (the BPU) has a plan in place though in which it’ll phase in rate increases over a five-year period, so no rate increases are planned,” Paris City Manager Kim Foster said after the meeting.

As far as electricity rates, the BPU has always just followed the rate increases prescribed by the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the PUA will follow suit.

The PUA board includes Ralph Anderson, Terry Fuller, Butch Powers, David Flowers and Michael Murphey.

Fred McLean, city attorney, had some questions about the documents during a meeting last week, but he and Wimberley reached agreement on the issues prior to Thursday’s meeting.

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